Our Exploration Switzerland, Italy, France, & Holland students embark on an adventurous day in the mountains, enjoying breathtaking views, embracing the joy of new experiences, and fostering genuine connections with fellow travelers.

Our first full day began where the last post left off — breakfast in the hotel.

After fueling ourselves with croissants and eggs, we set off for our first mountain adventure. We took the gondola to the top of La Berneuse peak, which meant conquering fears for many of us and an exciting start to the day for all!

We hiked all together from the summit down to a small rest hut near a lake and the famous Tour D’Aï, where we enjoyed a lovely lunch, at which the students took our exploration mission to heart, ordering things they hadn’t tried before.

Partway through our hike (during which we could see snow far away from us) we came across our very own patch of snow, and took full advantage.

We tried not to think about the fact that snow in June might soon be gone, along with our newly created friend. We also avoided singing the song from Frozen — you know the one — but only through sheer force of will.

We communed with cows — we even saw a baby! We tried to let them chill out, even though some of us really wanted to take them home.

The landscape is truly unlike any other, and we have such a curious and appreciative group of travelers, who take advantage of an opportunity to take in the view and feel gratitude for their experiences. I heard it again and again today: “this is just so awesome!”

Finally, we made it home for a round of card games, a group dinner in which some people had fondue and others had burgers, and phenomenal get-to-know you questions asked around the dinner table. Journal Team even decided to facilitate ten minutes of quiet journal time, which everyone participated in.

We’re having a blast, and can’t wait to report back soon.

– Lily and Aaron

P.S. As I’m sure you know, we’re on a tech fast. Everyone is doing well with the tech fast, and even the people who were worried about it at first have reported positive experiences — one person noted they said “Bonjour” to each person who walked by, because they weren’t on their phone. And, when they were quizzing each other about geography, they were forced to rely on memory, not Google Maps, to come up with questions (and answers), which was both engaging and enriching, especially for world travelers such as ours!

To learn more about Exploration Switzerland, Italy, France, & Holland, click here.